Phoenix-area Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) started his campaign at a town hall meeting by issuing a lighthearted disclaimer to the approximately 150 attendees at a Recreation Center.
Gallego alerted the Rio Vista crowd with a touch of humor that if they witnessed him abruptly answering his phone or hastily exiting the room, it could only mean one thing—his wife’s call due to her imminent delivery of their first child.
He clarified that this would be the sole reason for his sudden departure, distinguishing himself from politicians who tend to avoid engaging with their constituents.
As a 43-year-old congressman serving his fifth term, Gallego is preparing for a three-way race in Arizona, a battleground state, which will be contentious leading up to the 2024 elections.
This race challenges newly independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-AZ) holds on the seat.
Gallego announced his candidacy early in 2023,and has wasted no time in getting an early start, aiming to demonstrate that he can be victorious in a state where Democrats are outnumbered by registered Republicans and independents.
Gallego’s primary strategy centers on accessibility through in-person public events, as he believes this approach will resonate with Arizona voters.
This emphasis on engagement subtly contrasts with Sinema, who has not held a similar event in years.
Gallego expressed his intentions to traverse the state, reaching out to red and blue areas to connect with people who feel overlooked or neglected.
By actively engaging with a wide range of communities, he seeks to build support and present himself as a candidate who truly understands and represents the people’s interests.
Ruben Gallego, a seasoned Marine combat veteran and House Armed Services Committee member, firmly believes his military background will strike a chord with voters.
As he vies to become Arizona’s first Latino senator, Gallego recognizes that his diverse background holds the potential to appeal to a significant portion of the independent electorate, particularly within the Latino community.
Furthermore, his campaign advisers anticipate that the high voter turnout accompanying a presidential election could work in Gallego’s favor, potentially posing challenges for Senator Sinema, who is an independent.
Gallego didn’t shy away from taking jabs at the first-term senator during the town hall, primarily focusing on her connections to corporate interests.
He highlighted reports suggesting that Sinema aligned herself with a group of moderate House Democrats and pushed for a compromise on a narrower provision of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The final version of the legislation allows Medicare to negotiate the costs of ten drugs by 2026, including the reduction of insulin co-pays from a proposed $50 per month to the current limit of $35.
By drawing attention to these actions, Gallego aimed to underscore what he perceives as Sinema’s questionable decisions and potential conflicts of interest.